21 Runners Killed After Extreme Cold Weather Hits Ultramarathon in China

Rescue workers carry a stretcher as they work at the site where extreme cold weather killed participants of an 100-km ultramarathon race in Baiyin, Gansu province, China May 22, 2021. Picture taken May 22, 2021. cnsphoto via REUTERS

Twenty-one people were killed when extremely cold weather struck during an ultramarathon in rugged Gansu province in northwestern China, sparking public outrage on Sunday over the lack of contingency planning.

The 100-km (62-mile) race began on Saturday from a scenic area at a bend in the Yellow River known for its sheer cliffs and rock columns. The route would take runners through canyons and hills on an arid plateau at an elevation of over 1,000 metres (3,300 feet).

The race kicked off 9 a.m. (0100 GMT) with runners clad in t-shirts and shorts under overcast skies, according to photographs posted on the social media account of the Yellow River Stone Forest area in Jingtai, a county under the jurisdiction of Baiyin city.

Around noon on Saturday, a mountainous section of the race was hit by hail, freezing rain and gales that caused temperatures to plummet, officials from Baiyin told a news briefing on Sunday.

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SOURCE: Reuters

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